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Cruise Ship "Satoshi" Wants to Enable Off-Grid Living on Bitcoin

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For Bitcoin enthusiasts who don't get seasick, a new unconventional living concept is hitting the high seas: a cruise ship whose inhabitants can pay for their homes, services, and goods in bitcoin.

According to the boating publication Maritime Executive, Ocean Builders, a company previously focused on building seasteading projects, is in the midst of repurposing an old cruise ship formerly owned by Carnival Cruises, fittingly now named "Satoshi." The 811-foot long cruise ship, which began to sail in 1990, has a capacity of 2,000 residents across 777 cabins. 

When finished, the Bitcoin-themed cruise ship will have a series of cabins, which will act as "off-grid seapod homes" for those that purchase them. Instead of veering around the high seas, Satoshi will be moored 30 minutes away from Panama City, where cabin owners can live over longer periods of time. A press release announcing Satoshi reads:

"The ship will be anchored a 30-minute ferry ride away from Panama City in the Gulf of Panama [...] Their goal is to create a floating community for the advancement of ocean technology, engineering, sustainable living, and experimentation."

While repurposing a cruise ship for long-term, off-grid living is unique in and of itself; Satoshi has the added bonus of allowing its guests to pay for services, the cabins themselves, and a monthly fee using bitcoin. The first sale will be taking place in November, where 200 cabins priced between $25,000 and $50,000 will be sold to global buyers. Ocean Builders hopes to onboard cabin buyers as early as January 2021.

Chad Elwartowski, COO of Ocean Builders, hopes Satoshi will act as more than just a place for the Bitcoin-rich to live.

He told the Maritime Executive that he wants the ship to be a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Elwartowski specifically called on cryptocurrency companies and entrepreneurs that may want to test products or services in an environment where there are many acclimated to Bitcoin.

Elwartowski made headlines in 2019 when he and his partner came under threat from the Thai government after they built a floating home 14 nautical miles off the island of Phuket. It is yet unclear if he, along with those that live on this ship, will run into the same issues with Satoshi. 

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Nick is a writer and analyst who has been following Bitcoin since 2013. When he is not writing, he works on HTC's Bitcoin phone, EXODUS.